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Chinese lawmakers to introduce stricter bans on tobacco ads


12-24-2014 17:49 BJT

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China is discussing the country's most pressing legal issues at its bi-monthly session. Lawmakers are set to discuss an amendment to the Advertisement Law aiming to put stricter bans on the country's tobacco ads.

The amendment to the 20-year-old Advertisement Law is now under the second reading.

The draft amendment bans tobacco advertising at public venues in general. rather than listing the specific venues.

"The second draft, after advice on the first edition, also banned brands, trademark, packaging, design and content related to tobacco products from other products, services and public service announcements,"  member of NPC Standing Committee Luo Liangquan said. "It is big improvement compared with the first draft."

Still, companies will be able to advertise their products in tobacco shops. Some lawmakers suggest banning tobacco ads on a larger scale.

The draft amendment also bans outdoor and window tobacco ads. It stipulates that tobacco adverts should be approved by the industry and commerce administration department of the central government, instead of local governments, as had been the case previously.

Tobacco and alcohol adverts have also been assigned additional provisions.

For tobacco, it stipulates that under no circumstance should it be suggested that smoking is healthy, can relieve fatigue or ease mental strain. Tobacco must not be labeled as "low-tar" or "low health risks"; and the warning "smoking is harmful to health" must be prominently displayed.

The draft bans the depiction of drinking; and driving cars, boats, or planes in alcohol ads.

The second reading of the draft will be put to a vote on Sunday.

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